ViewRanger gives Kendal Mountain Rescue screen test

Kendal Mountain Rescue Team

When festival goers visit the Kendal Mountain Festival’s Adventure Sport’s Village at the town’s “Dojo” they will be able to watch on a big screen as two intrepid members of the Mountain Rescue Team complete the gruelling 128 mile ‘Kendal Rescue Round’ in 24 hours using road bike, fell running, mountain bike and kayak.

The team will be using the ViewRanger GPS navigation app on their smartphones with its new night vision feature to keep them on track. They will also use its location sharing service, BuddyBeacon, so that visitors to the film festival will be able to follow their progress in real time on a big screen in the foyer of the venue.

Kevin Knowles, of the Kendal Mountain Rescue, explains that the team has been using the ViewRanger GPS navigation app in operations over the last four years and believes mobile navigation has an important role in mountain safety.

Kendal Mountain Rescue have been using ViewRanger for the last four years

“It is very useful. Mobile navigation enhances and supports more traditional methods using map and compass, particularly when you are working out of your own area. With ViewRanger I have all the maps I need already on the phone and use GPS for navigation.”

“A typical scenario would be the call out l had last Sunday. I was out with the family when the pager went off and I was asked to go direct to the RV (rendezvous) Point. While traveling I got the grid reference, I set this in ViewRanger as a POI (point of interest) and could look at the area around for access and then use ViewRanger to navigate from there to the RV point.

The Kendal Rescue Round is designed to make people aware of Kendal Teams area of responsibility and is the brainchild of Deputy Team Leader Kath Jackson who is doing the Round with fellow Deputy Dave Howarth from the team. The BuddyBeacon facility on their phones allows supporters to see the team’s real time progress along the punishing route. It will also be possible to see the elevation and the times taken for each stage. The route will be displayed on the big screen or can be followed on the internet http://www.viewranger.com/kendalrescueround.

Kevin thinks that the new night vision feature will be a benefit this year.
“90 percent of incidents are at night or in foul weather when the visibility is poor. When you are trying to look at the screen with a head torch it can be very difficult. The new feature uses red on the screen which is much easier to see.”

In the future Mountain Rescue Teams will benefit from intelligent navigation. As Augmentra, the team behind ViewRanger, is developing next generation smartphone navigation, as part of a new European collaborative project known as DOSSy (Digital Outdoors and Safety System).

DOSSy, which includes the German Red Cross and the Swiss Alpine Club, aims to help facilitate enjoyment of mountain pursuits regardless of age by developing an app that includes intelligent navigation, location and context triggered safety features.

Craig Wareham, co-founder of Cambridge-based Augmentra explains;

“The DOSSy project is a step change in mobile navigation, it will enable information about the terrain, weather and fitness of the individual to help guide the user.

“Many apps provide simple positioning; they basically locate you on a map. Our ViewRanger GPS app is more advanced in that it provides active navigation. It uses predetermined waypoints to direct the users on the right course, with alerts if you go off track. DOSSy will offer next generation intelligent navigation, using information about the evolving situation to pre-empt issues and advise both the user and the rescue services as appropriate.”

Kevin sees one benefit of DOSSy as allowing the type of information currently only available via laptop in the control vehicle to be available to teams on the ground. “It would allow you to see the complete picture of the operation not just your little piece of the jigsaw as you can now,” he says.

DOSSy will also provide a new dimension for rescue teams as it will allow much richer information to be accessed about the lost or injured person.

More information about the Kendal Rescue Round is available at http://www.charitychoice.co.uk/fundraiser/kendal-rescue-round/ and can be followed live on the 16-17th November 2012 on http://www.viewranger.com/kendalrescueround

– ENDS –

Notes for editors follow: –
Media contact for Augmentra/ViewRanger: Nina Beadle/ Rachel Holdsworth, PR consultants, Holdsworth Associates, Tel: 01954 202789, email: Nina@holdsworth-associates.co.uk, www.holdsworth-associates.co.uk
ViewRanger contact: Ian Pond, Marketing Director, ViewRanger
ian@viewranger.com +44 7973 200006
About ViewRanger http://www.viewranger.com
ViewRanger is a UK based Outdoors Navigation mobile app specialist, it launched its first product in 2006. Every version of the app includes global mapping that can be stored offline and today there is a user community in over 80 countries.

Additionally in most European countries, USA, Canada and New Zealand the app can be upgraded to run full topographic mapping. The apps comprehensive feature set, its proven reliability and detailed mapping means that it is used by many Search & Rescue teams in UK, Ireland, USA & Canada.

The global community of ViewRanger users store and share their adventures using the app and the web based tools at www.my.viewranger.com. Over 300 official bodies, like Tourist agencies, book publishers, hotels and magazines also use the service to digitally deliver their expert trails for walking and cycling to smartphones.
About DOSSy (Digital Outdoors and Safety System) http://www.dossy-aal.eu

DOSSy is coordinated by the University of St Gallen in Switzerland and includes Augmentra, developers of ViewRanger the leading outdoor activities GPS app, Curena developers of an emergency response system, Bergverlag Rother, publishers of Alpine Club guidebooks, the German Red Cross and the Swiss Alpine Club. It is part of the Ambient Assisted Living Joint Programme (AALJP), a European Commission activity aimed at enhancing the quality of life of older people and stimulating commerce.
DOSSy is a 24-month project with a budget of 1.6M Euro; there is European funding of 734.000 Euro and each of the consortium members are funded by the relevant national funding body. For Cambridge UK based ViewRanger this is the Technology Strategy Board.

 

 

 

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